Have you gone green yet? Green juices are all of the rage, even popping up in grocery stores and at your local coffee shops. Why are so many people suddenly juicing, what benefits does it offer, and what kind of green juice would a nutritionist recommend for you?
According to the USDA, Americans on average eat only ½ the recommended amount of vegetables every day. Only 10% of the vegetables that the average American eats are dark green vegetables. Leafy greens, like kale, spinach, and collard greens, are crucial to our health. They provide important minerals, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and antioxidants that can reduce our risk of disease and slow aging.
Green juices are a convenient way to get a day’s worth of vegetables in one glass. Proponents for juicing say it helps with weight loss, provides energy, and improves immunity.
Ready to try making your own green juice to see what benefits you get? Five top nutritionists from around the web share their personal favorite juice recipes and recommendations. We’ve gathered them all here so you pick your favorite and get to juicing.
1. Mckel Hill MS, RD, LDN
On her blog, Nutrition Stripped, nutritionist Mckel Hill shares her personal favorite green juice recipe: the Stripped Green Juice. Mckel’s green juice has “some pretty amazing ingredients all are delicious, nourishing, and supportive in helping your body’s natural and ongoing detoxification.” Mckel says to think of juices as a way to get the powerhouse of nutrition in a very small volume, reducing fresh fruits and vegetables down to pure liquid. To make Mckel’s green juice, you will need kale, romaine lettuce, celery, cucumbers, fuji apple, pineapple, parsley, cilantro, ginger root, lemon juice, and stevia.
2. Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN
Stacy is the nutritionist at Reboot with Joe. Her green juice is aptly named Stacy’s Simply Green Juice. This green juice lives up to its name, with a minimal ingredient list that includes apples, celery, cucumber, kale, and spinach. Stacy says her Simply Green Juice is “perfect for breakfast, a quick pick me up any time of day or that afternoon lull for an energy boost. The nutrients in cucumber, kale and spinach include antioxidants for vibrant skin and a healthy immune system.”
3. Shira Lenchewski, RD
Shira is the nutrition expert at Laurenconrad.com, and has been featured in ELLE, Glamour.com, Shape.com, BonApetite.com and more. On her own blog, ShiraRD, she recommends three green juices that you can purchase instead of making at home. The convenience of Shira’s recommendations frees you from the initial cost of purchasing a juicer, plus the time it takes to juice your own. Shira’s top picks are: Greens 4 from Pressed Juicery, simple greens from Juice Press, and Supa Dupa Greens (sans parsley, + ginger) from Juice Generation.
4. Cherie Calbom, MS
Cherie, aka “The Juice Lady,” knows a thing or two about juicing. Cherie is a clinical nutritionist and author of over 25 books, including the bestseller Juicing for Life, and The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health. Cherie shares her recipe for her Super Green Drink at her website, JuiceLadyCherie.com. To make this green juice, you will need cucumber, spinach, sunflower sprouts, buckwheat sprouts, and clover sprouts.
If you are ready to start making your own green juices at home, there are many kinds of juicers available on the market. The three main types of juicers are:
Masticating juicers (single gear)
Triturating juicers (double gear)
Centrifugal juicers are popular for their more affordable price point. A spinning blade grinds material down and sends it against a the walls of a spinning screen. Centrifugal juicers work fast and can handle large hunks of produce, but they can be less efficient at juicing greens.
Masticating juicers use a single gear to chew up the cell walls of your produce. The juice is separated from the pulp by being squeezed against a screen. Masticating juicers can handle just about any type of produce, including leafy greens. They can typically be used for other purposes as well, such as grinding nut butters. These juicers tend to be more expensive and take more time than a Centrifugal juicer, however.
Triturating juicers work similar to Masticating, but with two gears instead of one. They operate at a lower speed, which separates the juice from the pulp more effectively. The result is a higher quality juice and juice in higher quantities. Triturating juicers can handle all produce, including leafy greens and wheatgrass. They can also produce nut butters and other food products. The high price point and slow operating time are the two biggest downsides of a Triturating juicer.
You can make a green juice at home without a dedicated piece of equipment, too. Simply blend your selection of vegetables and fruit with a splash of water or lemon juice in your blender or food processor. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, and pour the juice over. The remaining pulp will get stuck on the strainer, and your fresh green juice will flow below.
No matter what vegetables you put in it, or what you use to juice, the benefits of a glass of green juice are obvious. Go ahead, drink your greens today and feel the difference a juice can make.